Today's Focus

Current Goal: Eliminate Mortgage on Rental Property

January 1, 2019: $59,592
March 20, 2020: $52,982
2/14/20 paid an extra $750 towards principal
3/20/20 paid an extra $1000 towards principal

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Wednesday, April 8

Economic Quarantine, a Diary: Day 21 (Saturday, April 4th)

Day 21 (Saturday, April 4th)

Today I worked a little over 12 hours.  The morning started out slow, mostly Walmart deliveries.  Fortunately some of the tips were generous.  Lunch picked up a bit and then a friend let me know Amazon had a few routes on the board.  I took a 3.5 hour route.  It was in Lutz, north of Tampa.  Traffic was so light and the neighborhoods I delivered to were mostly ghost towns.  I had 37 stops, spread out a bit but not too bad, and I finished in just over 2 hours.  The nice thing about Amazon is you are paid the entire route time, even if you finish early.

After the Amazon route I drove back to my home area.  It was time for the dinner rush so I continued doing Doordash.  In all, it was a decent day.  I earned $268.  With Walmart deliveries it's possible to receive tips several days later so I am optimistic my earnings for the day will increase.

On the way home I used a gift card to order Outback to go.  We have an Outback/Carrabba's Express near our house, which was designed just for takeout and delivery (brilliantly relevant today, don't you think!?!).  I had the Alice Springs Chicken and my partner had the Sirloin.

At home we watched American Dad for about an hour before I went to bed.  Tomorrow I will probably do more Doordash deliveries.

Tuesday, April 7

Economic Quarantine, a Diary: Day 20 (Friday, April 3rd)

Day 20 (Friday, April 3rd)

I slept in today - all the way until 6am!  I've never been one to sleep late.   Guess the optimist in me is up and ready to take on a new day.  I've always been an early riser.  I fed the cats, brewed a pot of coffee, then read yesterday's Wall Street Journal.  

One investment I would avoid is in delivery companies.  I'm learning quickly that there's no money in it.  Today I was scheduled to do Doordash throughout the day.  Even during this pandemic, the worst crisis of our generation, when EVERYONE is ordering delivery, the pay after deducting for vehicle expenses is less than minimum wage.  Customers just don't care that I am risking my life to bring them food.  One McDonald's order did not tip me at all; another gave me a $2 tip.  A Panda Express lunch order tipped me $3 - I drove 8 miles to deliver the order.  Doordash only pays $2-$4 per order, and I may receive two orders per hour.  It's insane.  Imagine during normal times how little the pay would be.

Evening food deliveries are more lucrative, but you couldn't live decently from working two nights a week.





Monday, April 6

My Frugal Miser - March Expenses: $8,478


March, 2020 was the first month most U.S. households experienced the effects of COVID-19, the coronavirus.  We certainly did.

Not So Good

The alternator died on my car.  Replacing it cost $1005.  I'm at the tipping point where it makes sense to replace the car as the repair bills are starting to cost more than I can justify.

The cost of food was high after a couple months of more reasonable spending.  With meeting work cancelled, there were no more free meals.  Plus there was some stocking up on non-perishable canned goods.

The "fun" category was high.  Right before everything started shutting down we took a last minute cruise.  I lost a few hundred dollars in the casino.  Also in the category, we spent $166 on a fun night out with a work friend.  I paid for all three of us.  We also spent $48/month for unlimited movies at AMC.  None of these expenses will be repeated in April unless I book another cruise, which I'm considering.

I paid the annual fee on my Marriott Bonvoy American Express.  The benefits, once I'm able to travel again, pretty much cancel out the cost of the card, but it's still expensive at $450/year.

Better

We switched phone plans.  Sprint began offering a plan called "Unlimited Kickstart."  For $35/mo per line, we have unlimited talk, text and data.  We also will receive a $300 prepaid gift card each, which essentially means 8 months of free service.  This is simply the best deal I've seen for heavy-data phone plans.  I did have to get a new phone, but it was only $50.  Utilities are high because I also paid off our Pixel 3 phones when I switched.

Our April expenses will see a noticeable drop, but my income is most likely going to fall even harder.  I'm looking for ways to reduce recurring expenses, but there's very little we can cut.



March Business Spending:  $1,280
March Personal Spending:  $7,198

March Expenses:  $8,478

$1,260 Auto (service, gas, insurance, AAA, etc.)
$450 Bank Fees
$31 Clothing/ Personal Care
$1,347 Fun (vacations movies, gambling, alcohol, concert tickets)
$618 Food
$406 Health and Dental
$1,735 Household/Mortgage Payment/Home Repair
$0 Interest Expense
$0 Miscellaneous
$420 Taxes includes quarterly tax payments
$5 App Jobs Expenses (tolls, car washes, etc.)
$0 Unreimbursed Job Expenses
($504) Reimbursed Job Expenses
$924 Utilities
$1,151 Rental Property Expenses
$633 AirBNB Expenses

Sunday, April 5

Economic Quarantine, a Diary: Day 19 (Thursday, April 2nd)

Day 19 (Thursday, April 2nd)

Another day, another stay at home order.  I don't know about you guys, but this is getting old.  The staying at home is mundane, but with it I get this gloomy feeling that the economy is going to take a very long time to recover.

Today, upon reflection, was productive.  A few years ago I found a box of cabinet handles on clearance at Lowe's.  They were a special order that the customer didn't pick up.  I'd used most of them at the Airbnb, but there was a box just sitting in the garage collecting dust.  Since DR Horton didn't include cabinet hardware in my kitchen, I decided it was time to use those handles.  I installed everything I had, but we were short a few.  I found a match online.  Then, to get free shipping, I added extra handles to my order and will use those in the bathroom.

While I was installing the handles I had Doordash turned on.  I only received two Walmart orders over the hours I was available.  I also found a 5:15pm route for Amazon.  I spent over an hour in line at the warehouse.  They've added virus procedures including limiting the number of drivers inside the warehouse, which really slowed the process down.

On the way home from my route, I called a friend back in Birmingham who was going through some family issues.  It was nice talking to him even though things weren't going well for him.  His wife told him to leave and I think he might end up sleeping outside tonight.